Despite their often adorable appearance (and delicious taste), pigs haven’t been getting the best press of late. As swine-flu fears spread faster than a rabbi running from a ham sandwich (we’ve got a ton of non-kosher jokes, folks), we at Asylum feel it’s time to stand up for the pig. (With respect to those suffering from their flu, of course.)
Pigs of all forms have entertained us for years, whether by taking on human characteristics (they look great in a tie) or as the plaything for Homer Simpson. Take a look at the 10 pigs we love, and remember a simpler time … before they decided to kill us all with their unstoppable flu.
10. Vance from “Big Top Pee-Wee”
Before Babe there was Vance, the talking pig who assisted Pee-Wee in his bizarre hot-dog-tree-growing experiments and put up with his tiresome romantic entanglements. Why Pee-Wee went from chasing his beloved bicycle to hanging out with a talking swine in the course of one movie was never quite explained. Regardless, Vance was much cooler, and snarkier, than that annoying Piglet from “Winnie the Pooh.”
9. Napoleon from “Animal Farm”
We approve of any boar who is a rotund stand-in for Stalinism. Spreading fear and propaganda like a pink, tasty version of Fox News, Napoleon runs fellow pig Snowball off the farm and employs dogs as his secret police force. And by the end of the book, he’s walking upright just like a human. Wait a minute — we’re the bad guys? The whole thing’s just one big metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man!
After the jump, see singing pigs, friendly pigs, spider pigs and so much more.
8. “Spider-Pig/Harry Plopper” from “The Simpsons Movie”
The breakout star of “The Simpsons Movie,” Spider-Pig (later renamed Harry Plopper) can walk on ceilings (when being held by Homer) and even has his own theme song (performed by Homer). We’re not sure what exactly a spider-pig does, but it’s definitely hilarious. Runner-up: Marvel Comics’ own resident spider-pig, Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.
7. Orson Pig from “Garfield and Friends”
As part of the “and Friends” section of Garfield’s Saturday morning adventures, Orson defied pig logic by being both book smart and a neat freak. (A neat pig? Ah, the “wit” of Jim Davis.) While his comic strip, “U.S. Acres,” had a shorter lifespan than New Coke in the ’80s, Orson holds a special place in the hearts of Garfield fans. The sad, lonely hearts of Odie-sweater-wearing Garfield fans.
6. Arnold Ziffel from “Green Acres”
Despite being dated and spectacularly cheesy, “Green Acres,” gets an eternal pass for having a great theme song and showcasing Eva Gabor’s gams. Arnold was the breakout star of the show — playing the piano, drinking soda from a bottle, watching TV, and generally doing things pigs are physically and mentally incapable of accomplishing. He was pretty much treated like a child by his owners, and is one of the only pigs in pop culture whose last name isn’t “Pig.” Urban legend has it the cast and crew ate Arnold after “Acres” wrapped. This is, in fact, untrue — many pigs played Arnold, so the gang likely devoured them all.
5. The Piggly Wiggly Pig
Not only does Mr. Pig, aka the mascot for the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain, fall under the disturbing category of animal mascots begging to be devoured, he’s also the most steadily employed swine in the bunch. (Piggly Wiggly’s been around since the before the last Great Depression.) Representing the working-class pig everywhere, Mr. Pig is beloved by children and feared by his hog brethren. (After all, he is carving up his own kind behind that deli counter.)
4. Porky Pig
Porky single-handedly proved the theory that if a pig wears a blue vest and a bow tie, he instantly becomes too adorable to slap mustard on and pair with a side of applesauce. And though he set back the cause of our nation’s stutterers by about half a century, Porky remains the sharpest-dressed pig around. (Outside of Donald Trump, of course.) Runner-up: Hamton J. Pig from “Tiny Toon Adventures”
Smart, adorable, and with the voice of Bobby Hill, Babe is the only pig with an Oscar nomination under his belt. In fact, he’s such a well-rendered pig, he beat “Apollo 13″ for best special effects. (The bad blood between Babe and Tom Hanks is legendary.) He even scored a sequel, the darkly surreal “Babe: Pig in the City.” Fun fact: “Babe” was banned in Malaysia for not being “halal.” That won’t do pig, that won’t do.
2. Wilbur from “Charlotte’s Web”
Star of one of the most beloved books in all of literature — sniff, sniff. Sorry, just thinking about the ending. Anyway, Wilbur’s friendship with titular spider Charlotte is … oh, God! Why is life so cruel? Sorry, the story just makes us emotional. So there was a 2006 movie starring Dakota Fanning and … Why did Charlotte have to die?? She loved Wilbur so much! She really was “some spider.”
1. Miss Piggy
Singer, lover, karate expert — Piggy, er, Miss Piggy is the biggest Muppet star of them all. (We’re deathly afraid of her Pig Wan Do skills, OK?) Eternally stalking her beloved “Kermie,” Piggy always brightens up whatever crappy talk show/children’s series/parade float she deigns to bless with her presence. She also possesses the incredible ability to make us think of pigs as sexual creatures … You know what? Kill them all. Slaughter them now before they kill us with their flu and force all of our singing frogs into marriage.